As an owner of Tesla, you don’t want it to ever lose that signature shiny look of it. To help the body work stay in impeccable condition, most tinting shops will offer two options—PPF and ceramic coating. But each of them has very particular protective properties. Let’s find out whether you want a paint protection film or a ceramic coating for your electric car!
Why does Tesla need paint protection in the first place?
Delicate car’s paint job
No matter which model you own—Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, or Tesla Model Y—all come out from the factory with, let’s say, a delicate paint job. In fact, most modern cars do! That’s why owners of expensive or exclusive cars choose to protect the vehicle’s paint job. Doing it is relevantly easy: you need to choose a reliable tinting shop, and its specialists will advise you on the best paint protection options for your Tesla.
The signature futuristic shape of Tesla is also one of the reasons this electric car’s paint job needs extra protection. Paint can chip due to road debris and rock chips flying over the flat plane. When it happens at high speeds, you can expect some paint damage, which happened to a few of our clients.
Besides rock chips and light scratches, other factors can damage or even destroy the paint job. Just as any car’s exterior, Tesla is prone to regular weather/environmental impacts:
- Rain, hail, snow
- Bird droppings
- Bugs acid
- Chemical stains
- UV damage
Choosing the right vehicle paint protection option allows you to forget about dangerous birds or unexpected storms—your car’s exterior will be safe.
Quality paint job costs a lot
And especially for Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, or Tesla Model Y! Timely application of paint protection film or ceramic coating can save you significant cash. Plus, it will raise the resale value of your electric car.
A pro tip: if you decide to sell your Tesla protected by the PPF or/and ceramic coating right out from the factory, let the new owner enjoy the stunning look underneath the protective layer. If he/she decides to remove it, a wow effect is absolutely guaranteed!
Now to the point: Tesla PPF vs. ceramic coating
You often hear the two major Tesla paint protection options — PPF vs. ceramic coating — mentioned together. But in fact, there are major differences between them! Honestly, we wouldn’t be comparing them at all, as each gives an absolutely different protective layer that serves very particular needs.
Let’s learn more about PPF and ceramic coatings and decide which suits you best. If you still can’t make up your mind, please contact our 24/7 customer support team online or by dialing 773-455-0467 or 312-212-0493.
What is a paint protection film (PPF)?
PPF, also known as a “clear bra,” is a transparent thermoplastic urethane film stretched over your Tesla’s body to protect it from any environmental/and or mechanical impacts. Everything — from UV rays, rain, and hail, to minor scratches and road debris, chips, bird droppings, bug acids, etc. — stops being a threat and keeps your car’s paint job safe. Apply it to your Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, or Tesla Model Y, and enjoy its stunning look for years to come!
Application of PPF is a tricky business and can only be done in a specialized shop. The film is chosen—an computer-pre-cut individually—for each Tesla model. Installation is done with the help of professional equipment: heat guns, specialized chemical solutions, etc. It takes about three days and costs about $6,000, depending on the type and brand of the film. Repainting Tesla would cost up to 3 times more!
At Tinting Chicago, we use paint protection films manufactured by the top brand XPEL. PPF covers your Tesla like a strong invisibility cloak that also has self-healing properties! Yes, you heard it correctly: quality PPF heals itself! Any minor scratch on the vehicle’s surface will self-heal with heat application (come to our window tinting company if you have this issue, and we’ll do the magic!).
XPEL provides up to a 1o-year warranty for its paint protection films. It means that all this time, your electric car’s paint job will stay in its original condition. You will have a transferrable warranty which will increase the resale value of your Tesla. The information of the service is stored in the XPEL database, and if you decide to sell, the next owner will benefit from it.
8 key benefits of PPF application
A clear coating is an obvious choice for Tesla cars for a few reasons. This high-quality transparent commercial product adds a protective layer to the original paint job. Here is a list of the top benefits of Tesla PPF applications:
- Protection of the original paintwork from fading due to the UV rays exposure
- Protection of Tesla’s paint job from mechanical damage: light scratches, road debris, flying chips, etc.
- Protection from chemical damage: bird acids, chemicals on the road, etc.
- Increased resale value: by adding a clear coat to your Tesla after you’ve bought it, will retain the paint in its impeccable state for years to come
- Addition of a sleek satin finish (if you want) by applying an XPEL STEALTH clear bra
- A possibility of partial Tesla paint protection (can apply it only on the hood, and trunk, for example)
- Super-easy maintenance of the PPF
- Industry-leading 10-year guarantee for the quality of the protection film!
Tesla paint protection film maintenance
All key manufacturers will only guarantee the quality of the film if the proper maintenance is performed once the PPF has been applied. And this means no automatic car washes, no chemical solutions, or waxes. Only a hand wash with certified shampoos is recommended. To prevent your Tesla from yellowing, we also don’t recommend parking it in direct sun for extended periods of time.
The number one fact to know before your Tesla PPF application
Applying paint protection film to your Tesla sounds like a perfect solution. But there are two essential points to keep in mind before ordering it in a tinting shop.
Your Tesla’s age!
Yes, age matters. The older your Tesla is, the less sense the PPF application makes. The key benefit of this protection option is preventing your car’s paint job damage. And if it’s already significantly damaged, you might want to look at another option—ceramic coating.
The condition of your Tesla’s original paintwork is the number one thing we examine once we request the PPF application.
We highly recommend going for a paint protection film installation right after you’ve purchased your Tesla! Better—1-2 weeks after you bought it, two months max. Then such a popular service makes the most sense! You wrap it as a precious gift… that you give to yourself, your loved ones… or the next owner!
If your Tesla is already 1-2 years old, our Tinting Chicago technicians will have to examine your electric car and give their verdict carefully: can or cannot the PPF be applied to the car in your condition? If it cannot, there is nothing to worry about: in this case, we will offer you a ceramic coating with some added benefits compared to a clear coat.
What is a ceramic coating for your Tesla?
A ceramic coating (aka “quartz”) is a liquid polymer bonded onto your Tesla’s paintwork. First, it will give your electric car a stunning shiny appearance and create a strong hydrophobic layer over it. It will become super-easy to wash your Tesla—the water will be magically repelled. Add the ceramic coating to the windows too, and you won’t need the windshield wipers! Plus, the ceramic coatings can be applied to your Tesla’s plastic parts and trims (XPEL gives a 1-year warranty for them).
Ceramic nano-particles immersed in the paint protect it from UV damage, dirt, dust, chemicals (winter salts, bird droppings), etc. It will keep your Tesla cleaner and will really make the maintenance super-easy.
When can I apply a ceramic coating to my Tesla?
Compared to the PPF application, the ceramic coat has a longer “application window.” Tesla’s 1 to 3 years old can still be perfect candidates for the quartz application.
To apply the shiny liquid polymer to your Tesla, we will need to perform a few preparation steps: wash it thoroughly using the clay bar and buff (polish) it with a special paste to help us remove a nano-millimeter of the dirt layer. Once the paint is ready and clean, we apply the final coating. Then your Tesla needs to spend 24 hours in the shop for the ceramic coat to dry. So, if you’re going for this option, be ready to leave your Tesla in the shop for the full two-three days.
And what about the price?
The application of ceramic coating for the whole of Tesla costs about $1500. And, if you want to protect the glass surfaces (and, as you know, Tesla has a few)—add about $500 more. Remember that it can also be added to XPEL STEALTH PPF ($1500).
9 key benefits of ceramic coatings for your Tesla
- Protection of the paintwork from dirt and dust
- Protection of the Tesla’s body from chemical damage (winter salts, bird droppings)
- Strong UV-protective layer over the paintwork: prevents it from yellowing and fading
- Creation of a stunning shiny appearance!
- Strong, water-repellent properties
- Super-easy maintenance
- Solid warranties if the top brands are used
- Service in the authorized shops
- Affordable price
The downside of ceramic coatings?
They don’t give the original paintwork scratch-resistant properties! That’s why we highly recommend all Tesla owners apply both—PPF and ceramic coating on top of it!
Ceramic coatings maintenance
While the micro-ceramic coating significantly eases the regular cleaning process, the Tesla cannot be washed at an automatic car wash after it is applied. Only hand-wash (no waxes or chemical solutions) is recommended. Plus, the top manufacturers—such as XPEL that Tinting Chicago works with—will only provide a guarantee if the proper maintenance in the shop is performed regularly.
In this case, it is called “Ceramic Boost” (aka the maintenance wash) and needs to be done once a year. Plus, don’t apply non-XPEL products when washing/cleaning your Tesla. If you do so, you are safe with a 4-year guarantee. By the way, XPEL has announced the new 7-year warranty FUSION PREMIUM ceramic coating. One of the best things about the XPEL warranty is that it applies to the coating work—and if you move to another city or sell your Tesla, it can still be served in an XPEL-authorized shop.
Similarities between PPF & ceramic coatings
Although these two Tesla paintwork protection products differ, they share common properties. Both are good for maintaining your vehicle’s perfect appearance for years, and they perfectly protect the original paintwork from UV rays.
The best PPF and Ceramic coating products for your Tesla
At Tinting Chicago, you can choose top-of-the-market products for your Tesla paint protection. All of them come with solid guarantees and services in authorized shops all over the country. No matter where you are or if you sell your Tesla, if you choose XPEL FUSION PLUS, XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS, or XPEL STEALTH, you can be 100% sure that you’ve ordered the best product on the market. Let’s see what these products actually are.
- XPEL FUSION™—Ceramic coating
- XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS™—Paint Protection film with glossy finish
- XPEL ULTIMATE FUSION ™—The combination of XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS and XPEL FUSION
- XPEL STEALTH™—Paint protection film with satin finish
And is there a perfect solution?
Yes, there is! A combination of PPF and ceramic coating—XPEL ULTIMATE FUSION™! By applying them both, you get the best properties of each option, and your Tesla is: protected from scratches, road debris, chips, dust, dirt, chemical damage, and UV rays. Plus, it gets a signature shining appearance and impressive water-repellent properties!
Sounds tempting? Protect and increase the resale value of your Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, or Tesla Model Y—book your PPF+ceramic coating application today. Or give us a call at 773-455-0467 or 312-212-0493 if you have any questions!
How much time do I need for the PPF+ceramic coating combo?
You will need to leave your Tesla in the shop for four days. Today, the Tinting Chicago Palatine and Grand shops offer this service:
- On the first day, we must prepare your Tesla’s original paint job for the PPF: thoroughly wash and clean it, work with special solutions, etc.
- On the second day, the PPF is applied.
- On the third day, our specialists inspect the work and apply the ceramic coating.
- On the fourth day, we inspect the final result, perform corrections if needed. And now, you can take your stunning, new-looking Tesla for a ride!
The car paint protection market is on the rise
According to Fortune Business Insights, the car paint protection market will grow to a whopping USD 853.1 million by 2030. Fast auto production rhythms and car owners’ awareness of the availability of protection options make the service more and more popular. As we’ve understood from this article, the most common options are PPF and ceramic coatings. Choose only the authorized tinting shops with substantial experience and good online reviews to ensure your Tesla’s original paint job is well-protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need PPF and ceramic coating for my Tesla?
If you need to protect the paintwork, increase the resale value and enhance the appearance of your Tesla, then yes. In fact, if you go for both options—PPF, and ceramic coating on top of it, you will get the ultimate protection of the paint job from pretty much all external impacts: dirt, dust, road debris, chips, bird droppings, chemicals, light scratches, etc.
Is PPF recommended for Tesla?
Yes, highly recommended. If you install PPF while your Tesla is brand-new, you will protect its shiny signature appearance and increase the resale value. Choose a reputable installer authorized by the top industry brands, and enjoy your stunning Tesla look for years to come!
What is the difference between PPF and ceramic coating?
PPF is a transparent urethane film stretched over the body of your Tesla. Invisible and strong, it protects it from all damage, including scratches. Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that covers the original paintwork, giving it strong water-repellent and UV protection properties. However, the ceramic coating doesn’t protect your Tesla against scratches.
What is the best paint protection for Tesla?
We recommend a combination of XPEL paint protection film+ceramic coating application. This combination gives the ultimate protection for the paint job, enhances the stunning appearance, and increases the resale value of your electric car—be that Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, or Tesla Model Y!
Is ceramic coating on Tesla worth it?
Definitely! It gives your Tesla a stunning shiny look, protects it from dirt, dust, and UV rays, and gives it ultimate water-repellent properties. For the best protection, and if your Tesla is not over three months (in rare cases—up to one year old), we recommend the combination of PPF and ceramic coating.
Can I apply the ceramic coating and/or PPF to my Tesla myself?
We don’t think that the DIY kits you can buy nowadays suit the status of Tesla. During the installation “at home,” the paintwork can be damaged and the surface scratched. Plus, applying PPF and ceramic coatings is such a tricky process that at Tinting Chicago, only XPEL certified technicians do that. Besides the manufacturer’s warranties, we provide a 10-year job guarantee for the quality of the film. Here is more information on the warranty from the XPEL website.